NZ U18 Ice Hockey team win against Hong Kong

It's not one of our main sports in New Zealand but Ice Hockey is on the rise.

The New Zealand U18 team came into camp last week preparing for the World Championships this week and their first game last night against Hong Kong was a brutal affair from start to finish.

It's clear to see the reason why ice hockey is renowned as being one of the most brutal sports out there.

Mak Rawiri is 15 years old and has been playing ice hockey for 8 years.  He loves the knocks and the sport.

Rawiri says, "It gets pretty intense once we get up to smack.  All the boys get into it straight away, even when little things like getting hit really hard.  We just come back from that as a team."

Coach Jonathan Albright says there's so much talent like Mak Rawiri in New Zealand.

"It's maybe the rugby background, but definitely love the physicality and the big black machine in those black jerseys is beautiful to watch," says Albright.

The New Zealand team showed their potential in the first period of this division 3B world championship game, nailing 3 goals and going ahead 3-1 into the first break.

Hong Kong hung in there though, getting through the kiwi defence and scoring for themselves and setting up an exciting final spell.

It's an important game for both teams looking to move up to division 3A, but it was the home team who grew in confidence and managed to get four goals to win 8-5.

Mak Rawiri says, “They put their hearts out there, they came back and could've won that game but we just came back harder and it just shows if we play as a team , never give up, play 100%, we can win."

Jonathan Albright says, "We seem to string together glimpses of really good hockey there for about 5-10minutes at a time then fall on the back foot.  Credit to Hong Kong.  They are a very very skilled team."

While there's lots to work on before their final game tomorrow night against Turkey, the New Zealand players can enjoy the accolades from their hard fought win over Hong Kong.

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